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The enhancement of agricultural lands through the use of artificial drainage systems is a common practice throughout the United States, and recently the use of this practice has expanded in the Prairie Pothole Region. Many wetlands are afforded protection from the direct effects of drainage through regulation or legal agreements, and drainage setback distances typically are used to provide a buffer between wetlands and drainage systems. A field study was initiated to assess the potential for subsurface drainage to affect wetland surface-water characteristics through a reduction in precipitation runoff, and to examine the efficacy of current U.S. Department of Agriculture drainage setback distances for limiting these...
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In order for mark–recapture models to provide unbiased estimates of population parameters, it is critical that uniquely identifying tags or marks are not lost. We double-banded male and female wild turkeys with aluminum rivet bands and estimated the probability that a bird would be recovered with both bands <1–225 wk since banding (mean = 51.2 wk, SD = 44.0). We found that 100% of females (n = 37) were recovered with both bands. For males, we recovered 6 of 188 turkeys missing a rivet band for a retention probability of 0.984 (95% CI = 0.96–0.99). If male turkeys are double-banded with rivet bands the probability of recovering a turkey without any marks is <0.001. We failed to detect a change in band retention over...
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Acidification has historically impaired Cheat Lake's fish community, but recent mitigation efforts within the Cheat River watershed have improved water quality and species richness. Presently, channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus are abundant and attain desirable sizes for anglers. We evaluated the age, growth, and fall diet of the population. We collected a sample of 155 channel catfish from Cheat Lake from 5 August to 4 December 2014, a subset of which we aged (n = 148) using lapillus otoliths. We fit four growth models (von Bertalanffy, logistic, Gompertz, and power) to length-at-age data and compared models using an information theoretic approach. We collected fall diets from 55 fish sampled from 13 October to...
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Habitat suitability index models for American shad Alosa sapidissima were developed by Stier and Crance in 1985. These models, which were based on a combination of published information and expert opinion, are often used to make decisions about hydropower dam operations and fish passage. The purpose of this study was to develop updated habitat suitability index models for spawning American shad in the southeastern United States, building on the many field and laboratory studies completed since 1985. We surveyed biologists who had knowledge about American shad spawning grounds, assembled a panel of experts to discuss important habitat variables, and used raw data from published and unpublished studies to develop...
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We surveyed birds on grain and non-grain fields in the Tulare Basin of California treated post-harvest with two types of flooding that varied in duration and depth of water applied (Flooded-type fields [FLD]: <1 cm-1.5 m for >1 week; Irrigated-type fields [IRG]: <1-15 cm water for <1 week at a time). Our goal was to compare use of these field types by birds to guide habitat conservation in the region. During 19 August-6 December 2005, we counted a total of 80,316 birds during 23 surveys of 5 FLD (4 wheat, 1 alfalfa) fields and 8,225 birds during 38 surveys of 33 IRG (23 cotton, 4 tomato, 3 wheat, 1 alfalfa, 1 oat, 1 fallow) fields. We recorded 14 waterfowl (13 duck, 1 goose), 29 other waterbird (coots, shorebirds,...
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The eastern elliptio (Elliptio complanata) is a common, abundant and ecologically important freshwater mussel that occurs throughout the Atlantic Slope drainage in the United States and Canada. Previous research has shown E. complanata glochidia to be host fish generalists, parasitizing yellow perch (Perca flavescens), banded killifish (Fundulus diaphanus), banded sculpin (Cottus carolinae), and seven centrarchid species. Past laboratory studies have been conducted in the Midwest and glochidia sources typically included lakes the Great Lakes basin or were unreported. The objective of this study was to identify host fishes for E. complanata from streams in the Mid-Atlantic region. We used artificial laboratory infections...
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Trammel nets are commonly used to sample rare fishes; however, little research has assessed delayed mortality associated with this capture technique. We conducted laboratory experiments to evaluate the effects of capture by trammel net on bonytail Gila elegans, razorback sucker Xyrauchen texanus, and roundtail chub Gila robusta, at 15, 20, and 25uC. Fish (139–288 mm total length) were entangled in a trammel net for 2 h or captured by seine net and then monitored for mortality for at least 14 d. Blood samples were collected immediately after capture, and plasma cortisol levels were quantified as an index of capture-related stress. The cortisol response varied by species, but mean cortisol levels were higher for fish...
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More effective methods for counting greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) are needed to better assess population trends through enumeration or location of new leks. We describe an aerial infrared technique for conducting sage-grouse lek counts and compare this method with conventional ground-based lek count methods. During the breeding period in 2010 and 2011, we surveyed leks from fixed-winged aircraft using cryogenically cooled mid-wave infrared cameras and surveyed the same leks on the same day from the ground following a standard lek count protocol. We did not detect significant differences in lek counts between surveying techniques. These findings suggest that using a cryogenically cooled mid-wave...
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The dwarf wedgemussel, Alasmidonta heterodon, is a federally endangered freshwater mussel species inhabiting several Atlantic Slope rivers. Studies on population demographics of this species are necessary for status assessment and directing recovery efforts. We conducted qualitative and quantitative surveys for dwarf wedgemussel in the mainstem Delaware River and in four of its tributaries (Big Flat Brook, Little Flat Brook, Neversink River, and Paulinskill River). Population range, relative abundance, size, size structure, and sex ratio were quantified within each river. Total dwarf wedgemussel population size for the surveyed rivers in the Delaware Basin was estimated to be 14,432 individuals (90% confidence limits,...
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Equivalence estimated with linear quantile regression was used to evaluate compliance with habitat management objectives at Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge based on monitoring data collected in upland (5,781 ha; n = 511 transects) and riparian and meadow (2,856 ha, n = 389 transects) habitats from 2005 to 2008. Quantiles were used because the management objectives specified proportions of the habitat area that needed to comply with vegetation criteria. The linear model was used to obtain estimates that were averaged across 4 y. The equivalence testing framework allowed us to interpret confidence intervals for estimated proportions with respect to intervals of vegetative criteria (equivalence regions) in either...
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Because secretive marsh birds are difficult to detect, population status and habitat use for these birds are not well known. We conducted repeated surveys for secretive marsh birds across 264 sites in the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint Venture region to estimate abundance, occupancy, and detection probabilities during the 2008 and 2009 breeding seasons. We identified species groups based on observed species co-occurrences. Two species, least bittern Ixobrychus exilis and American bittern Botaurus lentiginosus, co-occurred with other species less often than expected by chance, and two species groups, rails (Virginia rail Rallus limicola and sora Porzana carolina) and open-water birds (pied-billed grebe...
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Aquaculture and hatchery industries are in need of effective control methods to reduce the risk of spreading aquatic invasive species, such as the Asian clam Corbicula fluminea, through aquaculture and hatchery activities. The planktonic nature of Asian clam veligers enables this life stage to enter water-based infrastructure undetected, including hatchery trucks used to stock fish. Once in hatchery trucks, veligers can disperse overland and establish in previously uninvaded habitats. As a result, there is a need to develop techniques that result in veliger mortality but do not harm fish. In September 2012, we conducted laboratory trials to determine if a molluscicide (750 mg/L potassium chloride and 25 mg/L formalin)...
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Floodplain forest of the Upper Mississippi River provides habitat for an abundant and diverse breeding bird community. However, reed canary grass Phalaris arundinacea invasion is a serious threat to the future condition of this forest. Reed canary grass is a well-known aggressive invader of wetland systems in the northern tier states of the conterminous United States. Aided by altered flow regimes and nutrient inputs from agriculture, reed canary grass has formed dense stands in canopy gaps and forest edges, retarding tree regeneration. We sampled vegetation and breeding birds in Upper Mississippi River floodplain forest edge and interior areas to 1) measure reed canary grass cover and 2) evaluate whether the breeding...
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The popularity of implanting electronic devices such as transmitters and data loggers into captive and free-ranging animals has increased greatly in the past two decades. The devices have become smaller, more reliable, and more capable (Printz 2004; Wilson and Gifford 2005; Metcalfe et al. 2012). Compared with externally mounted devices, implanted devices are largely invisible to external viewers such as tourists and predators; exist in a physically protected, thermally stable environment in mammals and birds; and greatly reduce drag and risk of entanglement. An implanted animal does not outgrow its device or attachment method as can happen with collars and harnesses, which allows young animals to be more safely...
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Research comparing different sampling techniques helps improve the efficiency and efficacy of sampling efforts. We compared the effectiveness of three sampling techniques (small-mesh hoop nets, benthic trawls, boat-mounted electrofishing) for 30 species in the Green (WY, USA) and Kootenai (ID, USA) rivers by estimating conditional detection probabilities (probability of detecting a species given its presence at a site). Electrofishing had the highest detection probabilities (generally greater than 0.60) for most species (88%), but hoop nets also had high detectability for several taxa (e.g., adult burbot Lota lota, juvenile northern pikeminnow Ptychocheilus oregonensis). Benthic trawls had low detection probabilities...
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The Kittlitz's Murrelet (Brachyramphus brevirostris) is a small, non-colonial seabird endemic to marine waters of Alaska and eastern Russia that may have experienced significant population decline in recent decades, in part because of low reproductive success and terrestrial threats. Although recent studies have shed new light on Kittlitz's Murrelet nesting habitat in a few discrete areas, the location and extent of suitable nesting habitat throughout most of its range remains unclear. Here, we have compiled all existing nest records and locations to identify landscape-scale parameters (distance to coast, elevation, slope, and land cover) that provide potential nesting habitat in four regions: northern Alaska, Aleutian...
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We examined nesting habitat preference by red-shouldered hawks Buteo lineatus using conditional logistic regression on characteristics measured at 27 occupied nest sites and 68 unused sites in 2005–2009 in south Texas. We measured vegetation characteristics of individual trees (nest trees and unused trees) and corresponding 0.04-ha plots. We evaluated the importance of tree and plot characteristics to nesting habitat selection by comparing a priori tree-specific and plot-specific models using Akaike's information criterion. Models with only plot variables carried 14% more weight than models with only center tree variables. The model-averaged odds ratios indicated red-shouldered hawks selected to nest in taller trees...
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Free-flowing river segments provide refuges for many imperiled aquatic biota that have been extirpated elsewhere in their native ranges. These biodiversity refuges are also foci of conservation concerns because species persisting within isolated habitat fragments may be particularly vulnerable to local environmental change. We have analyzed long-term (14- and 20-y) survey data to assess evidence of fish species declines in two southeastern U.S. rivers where managers and stakeholders have identified potentially detrimental impacts of current and future land uses. The Conasauga River (Georgia and Tennessee) and the Etowah River (Georgia) form free-flowing headwaters of the extensively dammed Coosa River system. These...
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The ability to individually mark juvenile fishes has important implications for fisheries management. For example, marking age-0 Walleye Sander vitreus could provide important information not provided by batch-marking, including individual variation in growth and estimates of length-dependent survival and recruitment. However, the relatively small size of age-0 Walleye in north temperate lakes has precluded use of many common tagging methods that provide information on individual fish (e.g., various anchor tags, jaw tags). Consequently, we evaluated short-term mortality and retention associated with using 12-mm passive integrated transponders (PITs) to mark age-0 Walleye (TL range = 93-216 mm; mean TL = 157 mm)...
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Pumas Puma concolor are one of the most studied terrestrial carnivores because of their widespread distribution, substantial ecological impacts, and conflicts with humans. Over the past decade, managing pumas has involved extensive efforts including the use of genetic methods. Microsatellites have been the most commonly used genetic markers; however, technical artifacts and little overlap of frequently used loci render large-scale comparison of puma genetic data across studies challenging. Therefore, a panel of genetic markers that can produce consistent genotypes across studies without the need for extensive calibrations is essential for range-wide genetic management of puma populations. Here, we describe the development...


map background search result map search result map Bird use of fields treated postharvest with two types of flooding in Tulare Basin, California Can reliable sage-grouse lek counts be obtained using aerial infrared technology Bird use of fields treated postharvest with two types of flooding in Tulare Basin, California Can reliable sage-grouse lek counts be obtained using aerial infrared technology